To Ellen

This blog is made to the honor of my grandmother Ellen Elisabeth Thomsen who was a modern woman .
She was born in Randers in Denmark 1895 and died in Copenhagen 1976.
She had long salmon red hair down to her hips. It was braided and put up with lots of hairpins to make it look short.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Leonora Christine

Leonora Christine Ulfeldt
was the daughter of Denmark's king Christian IV and his second wife the Noble Kirsten Munk
 All pictures that are known of her seem to be copies of each other.
In most portraits she wears a feathered hat and chain upon chains of pearls .
It was not unusual that pictures were sent as gifts to other royal relatives .
 In order not to make a direct copy the artists changed the clothes a bit and
painted the person  in a mirrored position.
But what is very strange is that in some pictures
she is painted as a redhead and in others she has dark brown hair
Some few of the portraits are made under her lifetime but most are made long after she passed away.
For those of you who don't know anything about her.
She was born in Denmark 1621 and died 1698
she had  the sad fate to be imprisoned  for 22 years,
because of her her husbands treason. We learned about her that she became a victim
between her loyalty towards her husband on count of her loyalty towards her father and country.
For me and other people born on the island Bornholm she is specially important because part of her
rough imprisonment was endured on our  majestic ruined Castle Hammerhus.
A place that every inhabitant of the island visit at least once a year.
She is always in our minds when walking on the grass covered castle.
I bring her here in this blog because she had red hair at least the first part of her life.

Unknown artist
Leonora Christine
Mid 1800 century painting

Leonora Christine

In this reproduction of Leonora Christine
her hair color is lighter and more reddish.

Small picture of Leonora Christine

Leonora Christine in a Print 1648  Flora Danica  Sim.Paulii

Gerrit van Honthorst
Leonora Christine 1647

Leonora Christine
Look at the two pearls in her hair

Karel van Mander
Leonora Christine

Here she has red hair and extremely long arms.
 It is hard to say which of all
the many portraits show her as she was.
On some pictures she seems very short and then on others like this one she is a giant of a woman.

There is another version of this picture where she is pictured with  Valdemar Christian
So far I was only able to find it in a black and white photo.

Karel van Mander
Leonora's arms get longer and longer.

Leonora Christine 

Leonora Christine Ulfeldt

Corfitz Ulfeldt and his wife Leonora Christine
Again with the same hat feather and Pearls.

Here under comes  portraits o,f Corfitz which all seem to have been painted later on.
It seems the painter used the Engraving as inspiration, since the couple was long dead

Corfitz Ulfeldt also had red hair as you can see in the following picture

Corfitz Ulfeldt husband of  Leonora Christine
He is also a redhead on some  paintings.

Corfitz Ulfeldt in a  Lithography of the painting above.

Corfitz Ulfeldt in a later Lithography

Corfitz Ulfeldt

Corfitz Ulfeldt

Corfitz Ulfeldt 

The Danish Painter Kristian Zahrtmann who was born in Rønne
on the island Bornholm,  used  Leonora Kristine as subject in a many paintings.
Her sad fate made a huge impression on him , 
his mother or Madame Ullebølle posed as models for her.
I remember many of  this pictures from my childhood visits to Bornholm's museum.

Kristian Zahrtmann
Self portrait 1914

Kristian Zahrtmann
To this portrait Zahrtman used Karel van Manders as inspiration
But he corrected the long arms and painted her as a beautiful red haired princess.

Kristian Zahrtmann
Leonora and Corfitz

Kristian Zahrtmann
Leonora Christine in her cell.
Here the ruins of Hammershus must have been  in his mind.

Kristian Zahrtmann
Sketch of Leonora Christine in the jail.

Kristian Zahrtmann
Leonore Christine in her jail

Leonora Christine before Queen Sofie Amalie
Don't know who made this Lithographic print

Queen Sophie Amalie
This queen was married to Leonora Christine's half brother Frederik III
who ruled Denmark after the death of his father Christian IV.

Here is a picture of the couple when they were younger.

Unknown Artist

Sophie Amalie did not want to release Leonora Christine from prison. 
Perhaps she liked the sister in laws pearls too much! 
I also speculated if Christian the Fourth on purpose kept his daughter in prison because of 
the wealth that he had confiscated from her husband  Corfitz Ulfeldt. The money was very much needed 
in the states economy which was rapidly shrinking after the costly 30 year War ,which  Denmark had part in during 1623-29. I read somewhere that Copenhagen was floated with beggars at this time.

Only when queen Sophie Amalie died , was Leonora  finally released.

Zahrtmann painted 2 variations of the death of Sophie Amalie and it is not difficult 
to see where his sympathy was lying.
Do compare this 2 pictures  to the way he pictured Leonora Christine's death.

Kristian Zahrtmann
Sophie Amalies death

Kristian Zahrtmann
Another version of Sophie Amalies death

Now Leonora finally after 22 years got released from prison.

Sketch for Leonora leaving the prison.

Sketch for Leonora 
So red hair!!!

Leonora  leaving the Jail

One of Zahrtmanns sculptures 

Kristian Zahrtmann
Another version of Leonora.

Kristian Zahrtmann
Other sketches of Leonora. Christine

Kristian Zahrtmannn

Leonora Christine's meal

Kristian Zahrtmann
Leonora Christine in Maribo Cloister.
Perhaps she is reading her memoirs?

Kristian Zahrtmann
Sketch for the picture above, he changed the hands position.

Kristian Zahrtmann

Kristian Zarhtmann
Leonora Christine in Maribo Cloister

Kristian Zahrtmann

Kristian Zahrtmann
Leonora Christines death

Peder Henrik Kristian Zahrtmann
Leonora Christine's death

22 years she was in prison , she later wrote a self biography, called Jammers minde
It was found many years after her death and only published  around year 1869.
This is the original Titel page

This Book I have about her, it is a much later print.

First page of Leonora Christine's handwritten self biography from 1673
can be read on the Royal Library of Copenhagen 

Leonora Christine's self portrait

Pia Ranslet

 Leonora Christine was in my mind when I painted this portrait.
seeing her as a strong and proud woman with a mixture of arrogance and bitterness.
The red hair I believe she got from her mothers side of the family.

Portrait of  Kirsten Munk the mother of  Leonora Christine
This portrait of her  is an almost exact copy of the portrait below.

Here is Kirsten Munk with her 4 of her 12 children. 
As you can see Leonora Christine had red hair as a child.
Leonora  is the smallest girl shown furthest to the right. So this  points out that  the two first portraits of her in this blog with brown hair are portraits she perhaps never sat for .
The Artists perhaps never saw her or an original paintings of her, 

and could have painted her after an engraving ?
On the other hand many red haired women get almost copper brown when they get their children.

Jacob van Doordt
Kirsten Munck

Kirsten Munk  the mother of Leonora Christine

Kristine Munk 

This is also supposed to be Kirsten Munk.

Leonora Christine's grandfather Ludwig Munk

He was also red haired

You may also like to read conversations about Leonora and  her family life on 

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